NYPD Names 'Person of Interest' in Subway Attack

Frank James allegedly rented U-Haul truck linked to attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2022 6:28 PM CDT
Updated Apr 12, 2022 7:38 PM CDT
Attacker's Gun May Have Jammed in Subway Attack
Emergency personnel including the FBI search a truck in Brooklyn, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

This story has been updated with new developments. Police have named Frank James as a person of interest in Tuesday morning's New York City subway attack. The 62-year-old, who is still at large, allegedly rented a U-Haul truck linked to the attack, NBC New York reports. Police say James rented the truck in Philadelphia and it was later found abandoned around five blocks from the Brooklyn subway station where the attacker was last seen. "We are looking to determine if he has any connection to the train," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. Police say James' criminal history includes making "terroristic threats" and he has made some "concerning" statements online.

James is a Milwaukee resident, WISN reports, though law enforcement sources say he also has ties to Philadelphia and New York. The number of people injured in the attack has risen to 29, but there have been no fatalities, and a jammed gun may be part of the reason why. Police say there was a jammed round in a Glock handgun they found at the scene, ABC7 reports. Investigators tell CNN that they also found a bag containing several high-capacity magazines, smoke devices, fireworks, and a credit card that has given them a good idea of who the attacker is. A key to the U-Haul truck was also found, per the New York Times.

Police say the attacker threw smoke bombs and then opened fire on a subway train as it pulled into East 36th Street station in Brooklyn. At least 10 people were shot on the train and the platform. At least 29 people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, smoke inhalation, and other issues, the AP reports. Authorities say five people are in critical condition but are expected to survive. Police say the attack appeared to have been planned, but they haven't commented on a possible motive. At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul described the suspect as "cold hearted and depraved."

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Agents from dozens of agencies continued searching for the gunman after the empty van was found, the Times reports. After the attack, police described the gunman as a Black man, about 5-foot-5 with a heavy build. He was wearing a green construction vest and gray hooded sweatshirt and put on a gas mask before opening fire. Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that there will be an investigation to determine why the security camera system in the station apparently malfunctioned. Police say they were able to get images of the suspect from bystander video. (More New York City subway stories.)

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